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CHAPTER 9 â THE TAKING OF HUMAN LIFE General Overview In this chapter some of the basic arguments for and against the taking of human life in various contexts (suicide, defense of the innocent, war, terrorism, capital punishment, etc.) are laid out and examined. The so-called âseamless garmentâ position appears consistent since the position here is an opposition to the taking of human life across the board and in every context. For some this is too âabsolutistâ and so each situation where life is at stake needs to be carefully examined and to see where exceptions may be justified. Class Suggestions There are a large number of complex topics dealt with in this chapter so some instructors may wish to introduce all but concentrate on one. Some instructors may have already examined capital punishment in detail from a previous chapter. One may also see which topic is most current and ânewsworthyâ to peak student interests. After September 11th, terrorism has been of especial interest to instructors and students and can open up perspectives for students that are often not available to them. Debates or group projects on any of these issues can also be supplemented by showing a video or getting students to examine the wealth of material available on all these issues in their college library, on the internet, etc. The case material now available at the end of each chapter should also be integrated if possible. The case approach has some real advantages for philosophy instructors, since theoretical abstractions can be explored in the grain and detail of specific situations. Also, the author has laid out his own âhumanitarian ethicsâ position at the end of each chapter. Instructors may wish to explore these ideas with students or use them as a counterfoil, but be aware that some students may simply lift arguments from this section and repeat them back at you as the âanswer.â 61 Copyright Â© 2009 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.